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Snake Venom Phospholipases A2: A New Class of Antitumor Agents

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Phospholipases A2 (PLA2) are enzymes of high medical scientific interest due to their involvement in a large number of human inflammatory diseases. PLA2 constitute a diverse family of enzymes which catalyses the hydrolysis of the sn-2 ester bond in glycerophospholipids and exhibit a wide range of physiological and pathological effects. The ubiquitous nature of PLA2 highlights the important role they play in many biological processes, as cell signaling and cell growth, including the generation of proinflammatory lipid mediators such as prostaglandin and leukotrienes, regulation of lipid mediators. The activity and expression of several PLA2 isoforms are increased in several human cancers, suggesting that these enzymes have a central role in both tumor development and progression and can be targets for anti-cancer drugs. On the other hand, some PLA2 isolated from Viperidae venoms are capable to induce antitumoral activity. In summary PLA2 from snake venoms can be a new class of anticancer agents and provide new molecular and biological insights of cancer development.

Keywords: Snake venom; VRCTC-310; antitumor effect; phospholipase A2

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-08-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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